3 Matching Gift Fundraising Tips for Savvy Nonprofits

If your organization doesn’t have a matching gifts fundraising strategy, you’re missing out on easy money.

In fact, through matching gift programs specifically, you can double your fundraising power with little-to-no extra effort.

Here are my top three tips on how you can maximize your matching gift program:

  1. Promote matching gifts during magic moments.
  2. Promote matching gifts year-round.
  3. Measure the right matching gift metrics.

Note: If you need a refresher course on matching gift programs check out this handy guide.

1. Promote matching gifts during magic moments

The most significant barrier to your matching gift strategy, regardless of the size of your organization? Donor awareness — or rather, a lack thereof.

You can combat that problem by promoting matching gifts during the donation process.

The magic moment when donors give to your organization is the perfect time to ask them if their employer has a matching gift program.

Nonprofits can easily educate their donors by placing information about matching gifts all throughout the donation process, including:

  1. The donation page.
  2. The confirmation screen.
  3. The thank-you email.

A matching gift search tool enables your donors to instantly find out all the details of their company’s corporate giving programs. They’ll know if their gift is match-eligible and precisely what paperwork is required to submit their request.

Tooltip: Products like 360MatchPro (an enterprise solution from Double the Donation) scan your donor database for email domains that match corporations who participate in matching gift programs.

2. Promote matching gifts year-round

While matching gift promotion is a year-round endeavor, many nonprofits fail to include matching gift information in their fundraising campaigns.

Making matching gifts a part of your fundraising and communications strategy pushes your fundraising further than it might ordinarily go.

During peak giving times (such as your year-end campaign or leading up to Giving Tuesday), it only makes sense to illustrate how easy it is to stretch their impact on your cause through corporate giving.

In addition to promoting your matching gifts program via email, social media, etc, here are three easy tactics to try:

  • Highlight your matching gifts during IRL during events. Explain the power (and simplicity) of matching gifts while onstage, and don’t forget to follow up with event guests afterward to remind them to complete the process.
  • Promote matching gifts during peer-to-peer fundraisers. Include matching gifts in your P2P promotions and give fundraisers resources that they can share on their campaign pages, too.
  • Promote matching gifts with major donors. Reach out to major donors that work at a company with a matching gift program and tell them how it makes their gift that much more impactful. Talk about value!

3. Measure the right matching gift metrics

The data you collect from donors can significantly influence the strategies you plan. Matching gifts are no different.

Whether you’re just starting out with matching gift fundraising or whether it’s old hat, keep track of the following metrics:

  • Total donations received at your nonprofit.
  • Match-eligible donations (i.e., those made by donors employed by companies with matching gift programs that support your nonprofit).
  • Total matching gift submissions (both received and then verified by your nonprofit).
  • Total matched donations received.
  • Once you have this data on hand, you can use it to determine precisely where your matching gift strategy is succeeding and where you’re falling short in some way.

Once you’ve assessed these metrics, you can:

  1. Find gaps in matching gift education and devise a strategy for better communicating to donors about deadlines, form submission, and other vital elements.
  2. Determine which matching gift marketing efforts are most effective (and cut those that aren’t working as well).
  3. Identify undiscovered matching gift opportunities that can be solved by merely asking a donor for their employer information or reaching out to a company to ask about corporate giving programs.
  4. Eliminate delays in your matching gift process for donors and companies.
  5. Create a more deliberate matching gift strategy, whether that means bringing on a team member to lead your efforts or investing in software that can automate many steps for you.

Matching gifts might seem complicated, but the truth is that any nonprofit can take advantage of corporate giving in some capacity. For minimal effort, it can be big money ready for the taking!

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John Haydon